Overnight Facebook had a massive VR event where Oculus had a number of important announcements. Both hardware and software are getting updates and one of the more interesting is a new product, specifically designed for hand controllers, called Oculus Dash. Dash is a new command center for Rift, allowing you to multitask across your favorite PC desktop and VR apps and is the closest thing we’ve seen to a company actually delivering a Minority Report experience.
Oculus says they spent a lot of time working with hardware partners to be able to enable this experience as the smooth rendering of multiple desktop applications is GPU-powered. We’ve seen this attempted before by the likes of http://bigscreenvr.com but Oculus Dash moves beyond a single application or desktop window, into being able to move applications to individual locations in the VR space. From this its easy to see where Facebook is headed, they believe VR is the next big computing platform and having the ability to work in spaces that far exceed what we can do with desktop monitors is an important step forward.
Being able to multi-task with desktop applications while in VR is enormously powerful and eliminates the need to remove the Rift to actually get work done. This will take us to the discussion around VR quality, given most of us are moving to higher resolution monitors. If you’re used to seeing your desktop apps in 4K, then this will definitely be a step backwards. There are some big wins, like being able to fire up and play music from your favourite playlist on Spotify.
Given we spend multiple hours per day in front of our monitors today, it’ll be interesting to see how users take to using the Rift for extended sessions. Could you work for 8 hours completely inside the Rift? Leave your thoughts in the comments.